Thank you so very much for a wonderful storytelling pilgrimage this morning, JP. It really sparked my writing mind and rekindled my belief in what I am doing. Perhaps when you are carrying so much in your head, you don’t know what you really think about things until somebody’s thoughtful comments throw them into relief.
So much of creative endeavour is about permissions. Our walk gave permission to talk about something in a way that is impossible in ordinary circumstances. That is what you provided: exceptional circumstances, reinforced by your full, sensitive attention. Thank you so much.
I have written a little review (below) which you can add to your website if you want to (or use any of this).
I have just come back from a morning of deep, productive self indulgence.
I went on a story-telling pilgrimage with John-Paul Flintoff on Hampstead Heath. He nicked the idea from Chaucer and in JP’s hands the formula still works magic. Chaucer was a great guy. He understood about the storyteller being as important as the story. And he knew how storytelling is a natural product of walking and talking.
I had a story to tell. I have been writing it forever and it really is time it was in its dust jacket. Our conversation gave me permission to tell and talk about my story in a way you just can’t in everyday life. John Paul gave it his full, intelligent, sensitive attention and then said, “But you told me the story in a different order to how you say you have written it. Might that be important?” Well yes, it really might.
We played story games to keep the mind skimming a story forward. We enjoyed the trees and fresh air. There was space and time to enlarge ideas. John-Paul is a great man for that. Anything like a box and he’s busy getting on the outside of it.
You can keep your therapy, your massage, your weekend break. If you have a story inside you, go on pilgrimage and find the permission to tell it.
More shortly and prosaically
I so much appreciated the opportunity to talk about what I have been thinking about in private for so long.
John-Paul has the gift of listening acutely then using what he hears to assist your own perception. His energy is huge and he shares it in such helpful, practical ways.
- Deb S, author and former Arvon residential course participant